Your hearing won’t be just gone one day when you wake up. For most people, hearing loss happens in degrees, particularly when it is linked to aging. Some indicators appear earlier, though, and you don’t realize there is a problem immediately.
The initial symptoms of progressive hearing loss are subtle. Slowing down the progression of hearing loss and its associated health challenges is a matter of early detection. But if you are unaware of what the early symptoms are, you won’t be capable of recognizing if you have them. You may be developing hearing loss if you notice any of the following eight barely detectable indicators.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe you can understand the cashier perfectly, but when your wife chimes in on the conversation, everything gets messed up. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that transmit messages to the brain are damaged (called sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is a higher pitch, and that’s why it isn’t as clear. You might have the same problem with your grandchild or daughter. Even higher pitched tones such as the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You don’t like to talk on the phone
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not picking it up:
- I’m just not used to this new phone yet
- It’s probably just spam
Consider why you dislike using your phone. If you have the volume all the way up and can’t hear what is being said, let someone else test the phone for you. You probably have a hearing loss issue if you can’t hear the voice but your friend can.
3. Why does everybody mumble these days?
It seems like it’s no longer only the kids who are mumbling when they speak, it’s your neighbor, the news woman, your partner, and even your bartender. It’s difficult to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has bad enunciation so this is a good indication of hearing decline. You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. One of the first indications that something is happening with your hearing is when it sounds like people are mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” are dropping off.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
You might not even realize that you can’t hear conversations anymore until somebody points out that you’re saying “What?” during conversations a lot. Very often the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to detect that you’re having a hard time hearing. You should definitely pay attention if someone says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle indication, but it is something individuals tend to dismiss unless it’s distracting. A common sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Triggers are a substantial factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For example, maybe the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only manifests in the morning or when you are tired. Or a trauma, circulatory issues, or high blood pressure might be the cause.
It’s crucial that you don’t ignore these tinnitus symptoms because it’s an indication that something may be wrong, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get an exam.
6. It isn’t as fun attending the neighborhood get-together
It’s no fun when it sounds like that many individuals are mumbling at the same time. Also, being in loud places makes understanding what people say that much more difficult. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re in the presence of something as basic as the AC turning on or youngsters splashing and playing in the pool. And trying to focus in on conversations is tedious.
7. You’re normally not this fatigued
It’s exhausting when you struggle to understand words. You feel more fatigued than normal because your brain has to work harder to try and interpret what it’s attempting to hear. Your other senses may even begin to change. How much energy is left for eyesight, for instance, if your brain is using so much of its energy attempting to hear and understand words? If your last eye exam was normal, then the next thing to get checked is your ears.
8. Why can’t I hear this TV?
It is easy to blame your old TV or the service provider when you have to keep cranking the volume up. When you have hearing loss it’s hard to hear dialog on your favorite shows. Dialogue is being jumbled by background music and sound effects. What about the other things in the room such as the AC or the ceiling fan? Your hearing might be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
Fortunately, all it takes to know for sure is a professional hearing test and if it turns out your hearing is declining, hearing aids will help you get back to normal.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, give us a call today to make an appointment.